While the parents are away . . .

This week's devotional is from Pastor Ben Kerns.

ENCOUNTER:   Read Philippians 1:27-30

Imagine your parents left for a week on vacation and left you in charge.  I know, it is unbelievable, but just imagine it for a second.  You would be immediately bombarded with two competing thoughts.  1)  I just hit the jackpot.  I have unlimited freedom for one whole week.  I have a house at my disposal to do whatever I want, and I am going to spend this week living it up!  Or 2)  This is a really big responsibility.  My parents trust me enough with their biggest investment, their home, and trust that I will keep their world in order while they are gone.  

Even now, as an adult, when I get a night open to myself, both of these thoughts crowd my mind.  And we need to own the reality that we will always, every day be forced to make a choice between these two ends of the spectrum.  We can capitalize on our freedom and indulge in whatever our heart's desire is, or we can leverage our responsibility and do the hard and rewarding work of maintaining the workings of the household.  

One decision is amazing in the moment, but ruins relationship, property, and your heart.  The other is difficult in the moment, but builds on and expands relationship, property, and your heart.  

A maturing Christian sees their life and freedoms as something to leverage for the sake of the gospel, not something to be exploited.  Paul is compelling his listeners to live a life worthy of the gospel.  

You are God's kid!!  You have been given huge blessings!!  You are entrusted to use what you have been given for the glory of Jesus!!!  So, in this moment of freedom, where you are invited to step towards maturity, the big question is what are you going to do with this "week" without your parents?  Will you, no matter what happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel?

BE REFLECTIVE:

If your parents really did leave in you in charge for a week, what choice would you choose, 1 or 2?  Why is that?  

What is lacking in your faith that makes it difficult to trust God and give up your freedoms for His will and purposes?

BE A BLESSING:

What is one way that you can leverage the freedom and gifts God has given to you for the benefit and blessing of others?